"Volumes of citrus fruit for the 2020-2021 campaign are looking good and similar to last year, so there should be no surplus," reports Lucio Olivieri, sole administrator of Motta Cooperativa Agricola.
The pandemic increased orange and lemon demand by at least 30%, so much so that clients are already starting to plan supplies for next year.
Lucio Oliveri, sole administrator of Motta Cooperativa Agricola.
The 2019/20 campaign was extraordinary, especially since oranges were highly pigmented. Varieties such as Tarcco Lempso and Tarocco Ippolito flew off the shelves, especially abroad.
The lack of volumes available when demand boomed due to the pandemic drove prices up. Even the by-product sector benefited from the increase in fruit prices and registered quotations similar to those of the fresh produce market.
The groves in Motta Cooperativa Agricola cover 330 hectares in total and are located in the Motta Sant'Anastasia (Catania) plain, one of the production areas of PGI blood oranges. Citrus fruit does not undergo any treatment and is processed in a 700 sq m facility equipped with three processing lines and state-of-the-art refrigerated units.
Over the past twenty years, Motta Cooperativa renewed all groves affected by the Citrus Tristeza Virus (CTV). What is more, due to the increasing demand for red-fleshed varieties, it planted over 50 hectares of Tarocco Lempso and Ippolito, which will become fully productive during the 2020/21 campaign.
Il Fragolino® is the company's leading product: it is a seedless Tarocco Lempso variety highly demanded especially in northern Europe. Foreign demand is growing by 20% a year, especially in countries like Switzerland and Germany, which prefer untreated produce.